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Middle East/North Africa Natural resources and energy

The Special Purpose Vehicle and the future of the Iran deal

In yet another sign of the US’ waning global leadership role on the Iran nuclear deal, the EU, Russia and China have set up an alternate payment mechanism called the Special Purpose Vehicle or SPV as a means to bypass any additional US sanctions.

Environment Natural resources and energy Politics Sub-Saharan Africa Technology and infrastructure

DRC Cobalt: A potential achilles heel of electric vehicles

With the global transition to electric vehicles (EVs), corporations are increasingly forced to rely on cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a culture of corruption, unscrupulous mining practices, and political instability threaten supply security.

Natural resources and energy Sub-Saharan Africa

Mozambique faces a nexus of smuggling and extremism

Fears arise over an Islamic insurgency in Northern Mozambique that threatens the recent discovery of $30 billion of oil and gas reserves. Yet these concerns may be clouding the reality of blurred lines between extremism and organised crime. How has the Jihadi threat emerged?

Guest Post Natural resources and energy Sub-Saharan Africa

Guest Post: Blood chocolate – climate change and conflict in the West African cocoa belt

Cocoa is a vital economic sector in West Africa, but climate change threatens to reduce the area suitable for its cultivation, bringing with it a risk for mass migration and civil violence.

Natural resources and energy Sub-Saharan Africa

What rising resource nationalism in Africa means for mining investors

Lately, resource nationalism in the African mining sector has increased. In some African states, which make key contributions to international mining, larger mining rents indicate greater national control.

Natural resources and energy South and Central Asia

The Energy Briefing: Despite Caspian Sea agreement, obstacles to Trans-Caspian pipeline remain

On August 12, Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan reached an agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. In particular, the treaty removes a legal barrier to building a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Europe. However, several obstacles to the construction of the pipeline remain.

Europe Natural resources and energy

The Energy Briefing: Will US gas exports to Europe surge?

As US LNG exports have increased, policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have viewed them as a way to decrease Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas. However, their ultimate success will be determined by market dynamics. At the moment, these dynamics generally favor Gazprom’s continued dominance.

Middle East/North Africa Natural resources and energy Security Special Reports

The Energy Briefing: The never-ending battle for Libya’s Oil Crescent

The competition for the control of state revenues remains tense as Haftar’s Libyan National Army intensified its attempts to seize key institutions ahead of December 2018 elections. Although oil production increased in 2017, continuing insecurity due to armed groups still largely constrain Libya’s oil potential.

Asia Pacific Natural resources and energy

Sanctions, oil, and the emerging China-Russia-Iran axis

Although China has backpedalled on proposed tariffs on U.S. crude imports, the move is indicative of its need to diversify sources and steps may now be taken to enable China to play the oil card in the future – including imports from Iran despite sanctions, and drawing closer to Russia. 

Europe Natural resources and energy Technology and infrastructure

Challenges of Arctic shipping in Russia: The case of Novatek

In early August Novatek, Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, launched the second train of Yamal LNG even earlier than planned. Although gas production is ahead of schedule, Novatek’s shipping capacities are lagging behind.